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Applications Open for Second Annual Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship


Aspiring journalists have the unique opportunity to work in a fully-funded internship at The Wall Street Journal’s editorial team thanks to a special partnership between The Fund for American Studies (TFAS), The Journal and the family of the late journalist, Joseph Rago.

Each day I go to work at The Wall Street Journal editorial page, where I have real responsibilities and more opportunities than I know what to do with.” – Elliot Kaufman, Rago ’18

Young journalists with less than five years experience are invited to apply for the second annual Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism, which includes a nine-month internship with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial team, a salary of approximately $5,000 per month from TFAS and participation in the extensive Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship network and events. The application deadline is March 15, 2019.

Now accepting applications for the Rago Memorial Fellowship
Elliot Kaufman accepts the inaugural Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism at the 25th Annual Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards Dinner in 2018.

The inaugural Fellowship was awarded last fall to Elliot Kaufman, Rago ’18, a recent graduate of Stanford University. Now more than halfway through his time in the Fellowship, Kaufman says the experience is an extraordinary one that has had a tremendous impact on his career.

“I’m a full member of the editorial features team, trusted to edit opinion articles from all kinds of contributors, and given every opportunity to pitch and write op-eds and unsigned editorials,” Kaufman said. “There simply are not other opportunities like this one.”

The Fellowship was established in honor and memory of Joseph Rago, a Pulitzer Prize-winning member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board who passed away in 2017 at the young age of 34.

While building his editorial and writing skills, Kaufman said he often thinks about the advice Rago shared with student journalists at The Dartmouth Review.

“[Rago said:] ‘Publishing inflammatory material is generally counterproductive when merely the tangible reality itself is self-refuting and hysterical.’ The most effective ridicule isn’t ridicule at all, but calmly and clearly reciting the facts,” Kaufman said. “Letting the facts speak was something Joe was great at. I’m still working on it.”

One Fellow is selected each year through an application process that is judged by senior editors at The Journal, senior leaders at The Fund for American Studies and the family of Joseph Rago. A recipient is announced each year at the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards Dinner. More than 200 prominent journalists and guests attend this annual event to celebrate the best in American journalism, and proceeds support the Joseph Rago Memorial Fellowship and the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship programs.

Learn more about the Rago Fellowship and apply online at TFAS.org/Rago.

Applications for the 2019 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Awards will open in early March. Please visit TFAS.org/Novak for details.


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